MSU Story State contest seeks new Mississippi storytellers

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University announces the commencement of Story State 2024—an annual competition designed to showcase narratives from Mississippi. The contest invites original written, oral, or filmed stories.

Participation in the competition is open to all students currently enrolled in a Mississippi higher education institution, with submissions being accepted until March 21.

Each category’s winners will be awarded $100, with the ultimate champion being declared the master storyteller and receiving an additional $150. The winners will be unveiled on March 28.

“The primary goal of Story State is to nurture inventive storytelling,” commented Anna Blount, an MSU communication instructor and the current competition coordinator. “Stories serve as carriers of age-old family traditions, convey fundamental educational ideas, and depict societal norms.

“The contest is geared towards every student who loves spinning a tale, irrespective of their field of study. The essence of superior storytelling lies in the diversity of voices and places. We urge all participants to share their stories through the Story State contest,” noted Blount.

The three contest categories are as follows:

  • Written: Entrants are encouraged to submit nonfiction works, such as personal narratives, memoirs, narrative journalism, essays, and more. Submissions may be standalone pieces or excerpts from longer compositions. The word count should range from 1,000 to 5,000.
  • Oral: Students can present narrative nonfiction audio segments lasting up to 10 minutes, which can be excerpts from more extensive works.
  • Film: This category welcomes narrative nonfiction video segments of up to 10 minutes, which can also be excerpts from longer productions.

For additional details on submitting entries, please visit www.storystate.msstate.edu or reach out to storystate@comm.msstate.edu.

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